This might be a simple weather change. Or just coming from AC to warm weather. And even – someone wearing some expensive perfume. From simple to complicated. Anything can lead to – dozens of heavy sneezes, running nose, and problems in breathing. And it happens as frequently as the Sun rises in the East. But it is told every time- take the pill (the famous anti-histamines) and stay “healthy”. And when this becomes untreatable, they put you on steroids. And these steroids are disabling young kids.
Ayurveda can help you to breathe. And Ayurveda is the only hope for the treatment of respiratory allergy. Young kids can lead their life normally with Ayurveda treatment.
Allergy caused due to inhaling certain things is termed as a respiratory allergy. In this article, we will discuss respiratory allergies in detail and Ayurveda’s approach towards managing its symptoms and cure.
What is Respiratory Allergy?
Allergy is a damaging immune response to any particular substance such as fur, dust, pollen, or food in hypersensitive people. There are many types of allergies, such as food allergy, mold allergies, airborne allergies.
Proteins are the cause of respiratory allergies. When inhaled these proteins trigger inflammation of the airway. It results in problems across the respiratory tract, including bronchial, throat, and lungs.
Certain things that one eats touches, or inhale can trigger allergies. These we know as allergens. Allergens may not harm many but induce an immune response and a variety of symptoms in predisposed individuals.
Facts on Respiratory Allergies
- Respiratory allergies are increasing globally.
- Around 20% of people across the globe suffer from allergic rhinitis, whereas 9-12% suffer from allergic asthma.
- 30% to 20% of the world’s population suffers from respiratory allergy due to dust mites or pollen.
- Respiratory allergies cause loss of workdays and impairs school performance in children.
- Do not underestimated or neglected respiratory allergies as they have a significant impact on personal and social life.
- Respiratory allergies is one of the major cause of inflammation of airways that makes it difficult to breathe. It is painful and scary and can even be life-threatening
- However, it is challenging to manage respiratory allergies with western medicines. But Ayurveda treatment can completely cure this condition.
Symptoms of Respiratory Allergy
The common symptoms of respiratory allergies are:
- Runny or clogged nose
- Postnasal drip
- Itchy eyes, throat, and nose
- Allergic shiners that are dark circles under the eyes due to the increase in blood flow near the sinuses
- Difficulty in breathing
Causes of Respiratory Allergies
Allergens cause respiratory allergies. There are different types of Allergens. Whatever your immune system doesn’t like can be an Allergen. So anything can be an allergen for the respiratory system. But to shorten the list, here we will discuss the ones which are commonly responsible for allergies.
The most common respiratory allergens are as followed:
Dust is widespread in buildings and homes. It has many different particles. Dust is a catch of all the particles that float in the air and settle in different locations. Fibers from the carpet for clothes, skin cells, pet dander, and many other things are part of the dust. When it floats in the air, we inhale these. And these trigger respiratory allergies.
The skin cells of pets trigger the allergy. A cat, dog – every animal sheds off the dead cells. We human beings too have these cells. These dead cells are- dander. Yes, the same as dandruff. These cells float in the air. And when we inhale these, in certain people respiratory system doesn’t like these. And these cells cause severe to moderate allergies.
Mould is very commonly found in homes, especially in bathrooms and kitchens where there is dampness. These mold spores are released into the air. These spores are extremely light and small and, when inhaled, trigger problems even in those who do not have mold allergies. However, people with mold allergies are more at risk of an abnormal immune response.
Pollen is one of the common triggers of seasonal allergy. The plants fertilize the other plants of the same species during summer, spring, or fall release pollen grains. Most of the pollen comes from weeds, grasses, and trees. The dry pollen grains are so small and light that they easily travel by the wind and is inhaled.
Other respiratory allergens include smoke, chemicals, and extreme changes in the temperature.
The symptoms of respiratory allergies also depend on the type of respiratory allergies.
Mostly respiratory allergies are present with the symptoms of allergic rhinitis that affect the nasal passages or allergic asthma that affects the airways within the lungs.
Allergic rhinitis is characterized by a runny nose, repeated sneezing, or nasal blockage that lasts for hours. There is tickling sensation along with irritation of the eyes. Breathing may be difficult. Allergic rhinitis is mainly caused due to airborne allergens such as pollens, animal dander, and mites. The allergic rhinitis caused due to pollen is known as seasonal rhinitis or hay fever.
Allergic rhinitis is of two types:
Persistent periodic rhinitis
It occurs during the period of stress due to allergic response to allergens that are always present in the environment, such as smoke, dust mites, and certain chemicals.
Seasonal or per annual rhinitis
It may occur during the pollen season due to the reaction to pollen allergens.
Untreated respiratory allergy causes allergic asthma that results in shortness of breath, coughing, tightness in the chest, and wheezing. This condition of respiratory allergy can turn to asthma when left untreated.
Asthma is a disease condition of the respiratory system with serious inflammation of the bronchus.
Asthma is of two types extrinsic and intrinsic. Intrinsic asthma is all about the factors which are- internal. Allergens don’t involve in this process.
An allergic reaction causes intrinsic asthma. It is also termed as allergic asthma or allergy-induced asthma. In most cases, individuals with allergy asthma experience symptoms such as trouble in breathing, chest pain, wheezing and coughing after inhaling allergen such as pollen during the allergy season.
A family history of allergies is a major risk factor for allergic asthma. Having hay fever or other allergies, yourself also increases your risk of getting asthma.
How Respiratory Allergy Occurs
Those who are not allergic if inhale allergens the mucus in the nasal passage moves the foreign body to the throat, and it is either sneezed or coughed out, or swallowed.
In a person sensitive to airborne allergens as the allergen lands on the mucous membrane that lines the inside of their nose or airways, a chain reaction happens that causes contraction of the small blood vessels of the nose and airways. There is inflammation of nasal passages and airways.
With repeated exposure to the allergen, a large number of antibodies specific to that allergen is produced. In addition, the cells in the respiratory system stimulate to release of histamine and other powerful chemicals to expel the allergens of the body. Histamine is the chemical that is traditionally responsible for the symptoms of respiratory allergy such as a runny nose, sneezing coughing, and itchy eyes.
Ayurveda About Respiratory Allergy
Ayurveda talks about harmony. This harmony is not just intra-cellular levels (between cells of the body). But the role of this harmony is wide. Ayurveda talks about the harmony between each and everything. When you are not comfortable with anything from the universe. This is not healthy and acceptable. Here we need to understand the concept of harmony.
Basically, the so-called allergens, are not always harmful. This is our body which occupies with the thought- this is not good for me. And under this impression, body rebels.
This rebel is for the sense of romance. Because this is fear of cells, that this “allergen” can be harmful to their existence. And this fear of harm makes the body to react these allergens. And this reaction we know as an allergy.
Ayurveda defines this process as the working of the doshas.
When these doshas are balanced. These perform their duties. But when aggravated/disturbed, these bring unwanted changes. Therefore the treatment in this condition is all about the balance between the working of three doshas.
For a better understanding of the involvement of the Doshas read- Doshas in Allergy.
Ayurveda Treatment for Respiratory Allergies
The Ayurveda treatment protocol goes according to the severity of this condition. When this condition is in a mild state, alone medicines can solve the issue, and that too permanently. But where Doshas aggravate beyond normal levels we need to expel these doshas. And for that Panchakarma might be required. But the chances for the Panchakarma are just rarest.
The main aim of the treatment is to help the body to get rid of excess antibodies. So that function of the body can be normal. Unless these antibodies are there, this leads to the problem.
We need to understand that many of the allergens are unavoidable. We cannot control these allergens. But we can control our bodies. Therefore we need to work on the body, not on the allergens.
For the treatment, you need to make an appointment in advance. And accordingly, you can come for the consultation. Please check the page – how to prepare for consultation with Vaidya Pardeep.